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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to decide on what food to try next for my 3mo springer spaniel puppy. She absolutely detested Natural Balance (sweet potatoes & fish flavor), and she's not too fond of Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lover's Soul.

Is there any holistic puppy food y'all would suggest to try next? Home-cooking is out of the question.
 

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What do you mean "detested"?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
By detested I mean she would barely eat it; when we originally switched to chicken soup she ate about twice as much, but then she got tired of that too. I even tried crumbling up some treats in it to see if she'd like it more, and she wouldn't touch it. I'm taking her to the vet tomorrow just in case, but I think since it's been going on since we got her and she's been to the vet since then, it's just because she hates the food.

Do you recommend any flavors of taste of the wild? Do pet stores have dehydrated raw, or would that have to be bought in a grocery store?
 

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My dog really loves Fromm Four Star. From various reviews I've read, many dogs seem to find it very palatable. It has several different formulas; my dog has loved every one he's tried so far.
 

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If she liked the food and ate it enthusiastically at first and then stopped, I'm going to say she's just being picky. If she refused to eat it from the beginning, then I would be willing to believe she actually detested it. Now, if you want to indulge your dog's pickiness, go ahead, but I guarantee she'll do this with every food you try and eventually it's going to get real annoying. Pick a food she doesn't hate, and then if she stops eating it, hang tough, don't add goodies, don't fuss over her. She'll eat it when she gets hungry enough.
 

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And how much are you feeding? She may not be hungry as most kibble bags suggest far more food than is required. If you can easily feel all the bony bits but not see any but the shadow of the last rib or two then she is eating plenty of food.
 

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She can't be not touching the food. I have customers that swear up and down their dog hates the food. Then I find out they're giving the dog too much and the dog isn't finishing it all so they assume the dog doesn't like the food. And how many treats/chews is she getting. Also another thought is that some high energy dogs don't eat as well if they don't burn some of that energy off.
 

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People may disagree but I think, to a point, pickybdogs were made that way. I've had many dogs and never had a picky eater but they did'r have a chance to become picky. They know they have X amount of time to eat, if they don't, they get nothing else to the next meal. We also have changed brands, fed so e canned with kibble, fed dehydrated, etc and all have eaten.
 

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I would suggest finding a good holistic pet supply store and talking to the staff. Around here, people are very knowledgeable and will often send you home with a couple "trial" bags to test out.

With that being said, once you find a food that she will eat, stick with it. Even if she turns her head up the next meal, don't add anything, don't change the food, and don't coddle her.

My Bloodhound X, Ozzie is a notoriously picky eater. He doesn't eat cookies or treats, even if they are freely offered. I've spent the last year trying to find something he will eat for training with only limited success. Most people don't believe me when I explain the 'severity', but then I invite them to come try and well, they believe me then!

HOWEVER! Even though Ozzie was like this from day one, I have also been tough on him from day one regarding meals. He gets what he gets (depending on activity level for the day and anything else he may have eaten) which is substantially less than recommended on the bag. I put it down, and make sure he knows his breakfast/dinner is ready. He can lay down not looking at the food all he wants, he can sniff and walk away, he can pretty much do anything he wants but that food gets picked back up in 10 minutes. It is actually a lot harder for humans to watch a dog intentionally not eat than it is on the dog. Ozzie has gone 3 meals without eating anything and he was fine. I was the one who was a nervous wreck.

I have switched foods throughout their lives but the one I've stuck with the longest has been Taste Of The Wild (TOTW). We originally started with the ocean fish formula which he seemed to like. I now get them the Bison flavor, which they seem to like just as much. I sometimes add things to the kibble, but it is only on occasion. If there are leftovers that are appropriate, I will add them. Sometimes I put some plain yogurt or cottage cheese. However, be warned. If you start adding things to your kibble too often, your dog will become even more picky. You don't want her to start expecting extras. I would stay away from adding anything except water (if thats what you prefer) to her meals at least for a month.
 

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I couldn't help but smile when I read your post, I have a one year old Springer Spaniel and let me just say his eating style has been nothing but a mystery to me.

I've been going through the same problem since I got him at 3 months and have tried 3 different types of food.

I started with Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lover's Soul, which is what the breeder had him on. He did okay for a while, then he just stopped eating. We would feed him breakfast around 6AM and by 5PM (dinner time) his breakfast had been untouched. So we tried giving it to him in his treat container. Boy did that work... he went back to scoffing it down. Of course within a short time the treat container was no longer useful to him and he ignored any food in it. So we went back to normal feeding, and it worked... for a while. Stopped eating again, or would eat very little. Now mind you, he doens't get many "treats", defnitely not enough to spoil any appetite.

After a while, of him only eating maybe one meal per day I decided to try another food thinking it was maybe a matter of taste. So I switched to Blue (lamb version), and HE LOVED IT... for a while. When he would become picky I would add a little cheese to it, and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

I then decided to try adding in some warm water... woo hoo it worked... for a while.

I then went to adding a half can of wet dog food to every meal (cutting down on the dry - so I didn't over feed) and it worked for a while.

Once that stopped working - I said lets try wellness...

I decided to go back to BLUE and and deal with my picky eater. Sometimes I switch up the methods that worked in the past, some days he will get wet food, some days some cheese, and sometimes I just have to deal with the fact that he won't eat a hell of a lot one day and scoff down the next two days worth of food.

Yesterday, I had to add it into his treat toy.

He's just my quirky Springer Spaniel.

I did talk to my vet about this, and since he's been at a healthy steady weight since 6 months or so she's not overly concerned.

My dog only gets 1 1/2 cups per meal (1 cup if wet food is added in), and is fed at 6am and 5PM.
 

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I couldn't help but smile when I read your post, I have a one year old Springer Spaniel and let me just say his eating style has been nothing but a mystery to me.

I've been going through the same problem since I got him at 3 months and have tried 3 different types of food.

I started with Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lover's Soul, which is what the breeder had him on. He did okay for a while, then he just stopped eating. We would feed him breakfast around 6AM and by 5PM (dinner time) his breakfast had been untouched. So we tried giving it to him in his treat container. Boy did that work... he went back to scoffing it down. Of course within a short time the treat container was no longer useful to him and he ignored any food in it. So we went back to normal feeding, and it worked... for a while. Stopped eating again, or would eat very little. Now mind you, he doens't get many "treats", defnitely not enough to spoil any appetite.

After a while, of him only eating maybe one meal per day I decided to try another food thinking it was maybe a matter of taste. So I switched to Blue (lamb version), and HE LOVED IT... for a while. When he would become picky I would add a little cheese to it, and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.

I then decided to try adding in some warm water... woo hoo it worked... for a while.

I then went to adding a half can of wet dog food to every meal (cutting down on the dry - so I didn't over feed) and it worked for a while.

Once that stopped working - I said lets try wellness...

I decided to go back to BLUE and and deal with my picky eater. Sometimes I switch up the methods that worked in the past, some days he will get wet food, some days some cheese, and sometimes I just have to deal with the fact that he won't eat a hell of a lot one day and scoff down the next two days worth of food.

Yesterday, I had to add it into his treat toy.

He's just my quirky Springer Spaniel.

I did talk to my vet about this, and since he's been at a healthy steady weight since 6 months or so she's not overly concerned.

My dog only gets 1 1/2 cups per meal (1 cup if wet food is added in), and is fed at 6am and 5PM.

I think the problem is consistency. By 'giving in' and changing it up every time he sticks his nose up at a meal, you are reinforcing that behavior. Remember one of the most basic rules in (+r) dog training is to ignore any behavior you don't want and reinforce the ones you do. Also, by leaving his food down all day, you are literally telling him to eat whenever he feels like it. Well, that seems opposite of what you really want. Put his bowl down and give him 30 minutes. If in 30 minutes he hasn't touched it, too bad! He can try again at dinner time.

If the Vet says your dog is healthy, then he will not starve himself.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the advice everyone! Sorry it's taken so long for me to reply. It turns out that the main problem was that she had a REALLY bad case of worms. She's been back to the vet several times and has FINALLY tested negatives for all intestinal parasites...and she's eating 3x as much as she was on the same food! I've decided to stick with what she has for consistency. She's doing MUCH better :)

Let's just say I did not make a wise choice in breeders...she had ticks galore when I got her, and it's taken quite a while to get rid of all her worms. But she's healthy now!
 
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